Candice Holdsworth

The Silk Road: should drugs be legalised?

Please excuse the brief nature of this blog, the subject definitely merits a longer discussion at some point, but I’m curious to hear your thoughts on the recent closure of The Silk Road drugs bazaar and the arrest of the person whom the FBI believe to be its founder, Ross Ulbricht, and more generally on…

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Breaking Bad: An epic for our time?

*Reassurance: Does not contain spoilers*   Best description of the last episode of Breaking Bad: “Tense, witty, violent, oddly tender.”   So last night I saw the conclusion of Breaking Bad, a major pop culture event and the end of a television series that has excitedly been called “the best of all time”. I must…

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This should be about Syria, but it’s about Space Barbie

Pending the vote on Syria in Congress, which has been delayed while Barack Obama considers other, more diplomatic options, the topic of this blog is a certain Ukrainian YouTuber known as the “real-life Barbie” or as Vice has crowned her: “Space Barbie.” Valeria Lukyanova (Space Barbie) has made somewhat of a name for herself online…

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The boy George: He will reign but not rule

The fanfare has died down quite a bit now, but last week’s media chatter pretty revolved around the arrival of The Royal Baby aka George Alexander Louis. Right now he is completely blissfully ignorant as to the significance of his birth and royal fate. I wonder at what age he will start to realise that…

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conservative with a small c and Liberal with a capital L

I recently listened to an engrossing discussion on BBC radio, featuring Douglas Murray and Peter Hitchens, about modern day conservatism as distinct from classical liberalism or libertarianism, and in contemporary Britain, Toryism. It’s usually very difficult to systematise conservatism as it generally eschews such rigidity, and true to its name seems more content to “conserve”…

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Fracking and Utopia

An engineer recently said to me that there’s no such thing as a perfect system. He was referring to software development, but the concept was not unfamiliar to me, as Utopia is something that political theorists have been discussing for centuries. It is always there, whether referred to implicitly or explicitly in the academic literature….

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The dictionary of obscure sorrows

‘‘Kenopsia n. the eerie, forlorn atmosphere of a place that’s usually bustling with people but is now abandoned and quiet—a school hallway in the evening, an unlit office on a weekend, vacant fairgrounds—an emotional afterimage that makes it seem not just empty but hyper-empty, with a total population in the negative, who are so conspicuously…

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Johannesburg: The city that once was

About a year ago at a party, I met a well-known South African artist (he shall remain nameless) who described the Johannesburg Art Gallery as “Miss Havisham in her wedding dress”. He wasn’t saying it spitefully, he seemed to really like JAG; it was just a very honest, pithy comment. I believe the metaphor can…

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I sometimes confuse the history of others for my own

In one form or another, I’ve had America beamed into my living room nearly every day since I was a small child. I know their history, their politics, their pop culture and their legal system (perhaps somewhat exaggerated in cheesy television dramas) better than any other country besides my own. Last year I followed the…

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Who Owns the Future?

I’m currently reading a very interesting book by Jaron Lanier, one of the pioneers of virtual reality and a real Silicon Valley veteran. His 2013 book Who Owns The Future? was forwarded to me after I wrote a three-part series on gift economies here on Thought Leader. Although I have come across his work before,…

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